Effect of vaginal contraceptive sponges on growth of toxic shock syndrome-associated staphylococcusaureusin vitro

Paul G. Stumpf, Gerald Byers, Tom Lloyd

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Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is associated with certain toxin-producing strains of Staphylococcusaureus (TSS-S aureus), and with the use of some vaginal devices such as tampons or contraceptive diaphragms. The present study was designed to examine the effect of Nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and of a newly-approved vaginal contraceptive sponge (VCS) containing N-9 on the growth of TSS-S aureus invitro. Flasks containing culture media inoculated with TSS-S aureus were incubated at 37 ° C for 30 hours, in the presence or absence of either a VCS, or N-9 alone. At 0.5, 1, 2, 6, and 12 hours, there was suppression of TSS-S aureus colony counts in media containing VCS, compared to control. Colony counts from media containing N-9 demonstrated suppression at 0.5, 1, 2, and 6 hours. After incubation as long as 30 hours, colony counts from VCS-containing media approached, but did not exceed, counts from control media. From these data, it is concluded that this VCS containing N-9 does not enhance the growth of TSS-S aureus invitro. Instead, an inhibition of bacterial growth for at least 12 hours is observed in media containing VCS, consistent with a bacterostatic effect. If such an effect is also present invivo, it would suggest that this type of VCS is unlikely to increase the risk of TSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-399
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1986


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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